Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think if you only try !

- Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Should Have Been A Cowboy

I just heard this song on the radio - "I should have been a cowboy, I should have learned to rope and ride, wearing my six shooter, riding by pony on a cattle drive."  This song really speaks to me.  I'm not saying that I should have been a cowboy, or even a cowgirl (although I really could see myself as one), but this song reminds me of all of the "would have, could have, should have" thoughts that enter my mind from time to time.  Whenever I hear it, the feeling I get from it is one of pure freedom.  It makes me wish that I was running though a meadow barefoot instead of sitting at a desk, or wading in a mountain lake instead of wasting time behind the wheel of my car stuck in traffic.

I try to banish the "would have, could have, should have" thoughts from my brain.  I try not to live with regrets, but there have certainly been times in my past when I could have maximized my experience rather than rush through everything, just to jump to the next item on the list.  I look back on those times and realize all of the "should haves". I am focusing on turning these thoughts into "I can, I will, I am". If I want to be a cowgirl, no one can stop me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holy Corks!

I got this wild idea to make a wine cork corkboard about a year ago at Thanksgiving when one of my friends told me to save corks for her because she was making one.  Being a semi-hoarder of useless items (boxes, bags, etc.),  I had been saving corks "just because" - maybe one day I would figure out a use for them.  I gave her my entire bag. 

Oops.  I shouldn't have done that because this cork idea had bubbled around my head all year and I decided to try to make one too.  I had done my part in drinking a lot of wine during the year, but when I started constructing my corkboard I realized I was way short on building supplies, namely the corks.  I pondered placing an ad for corks on Craigslist.  Then I thought to myself, "who else in the world besides me would have possibly been saving corks for a future unknown reason?"  Bingo!  I knew just who to call.  If there was anyone in the world I knew who drank a lot of wine and loved crafting, and might possibly have hoarded corks, it would be an old friend of mine from Seattle.  For this purpose and not to embarass her for all of the wine she drinks, I will refer to her as "wine diva". I texted "wine diva" to ask about corks.  Within seconds I had my answer.  I had hit the motherlode of corks! She had always saved them (just like me), waiting for that moment when someone needed them.  Within a couple of days she had shipped me a package of what looked like a bazillion corks.  Corks of all shapes and sizes, matched in twos per my request (God bless you "wine diva"), and from all different vineyards.  She actually said it was fun to put together the box carefully arranged in layers of twos, with paper separating the layers.  Now that is a true wine lover (or geek) for you. 

The box of corks has been waiting in my workroom for today, the day that I attempted this project.  Assembling the corks into a logical pattern was harder than it looks and it was somewhat like working on a difficult jigsaw puzzle.  Certain corks were too fat, skinny, whatever, to fit into certain places.  Maybe it would be easier if I had been drinking wine at the same time, but it was before noon, so not really happy hour yet.  Halfway through, I texted "wine diva" to let her know that I was working on it.  I thanked her for the sacrifices of wine drinking she had done on my behalf.  Her answer : "I try to be a team player and help where I can ! " 

Here it is.  The final project.  I love it.

I have enough corks left to start another one.  In order to finish it though, I am going to have to drink some more wine and put "wine diva" on alert that I need more corks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


My scrapbooks sit half-completed.  When my kids were little, I worked on the scrapbooks diligently, and my two daughters have several completed books.  Then my son came.  I still worked on them, but my time was spent on feedings, diaper changes, refereeing fights, playing games, toting kids here and there.  Three kids left little time for devoting my day to deluxe scrapbook pages with creative layouts and colorful labels.  Then divorce entered our lives.  For years I could not even bear to work on them.  I just didn't have the scrapbook karma.  My family was broken and I didn't know how to scrapbook those painful memories or journal thoughtful phrases of inspiration on their pages.

Years have gone by.  My kids are now 20, 18, and 13.  I pick up the boxes of pictures, school awards, varsity letters, and look through them.  Before I know it, I am lost in years and years of memories.  Sometimes I see events that I had forgot about it.  I see friends that had come and gone in my kids' lives that I wonder about now. 

These years went way too fast.  I know that everyone always tells you that when your kids are little.  "You're gonna miss this when it's gone".   It is true.  Before I could blink, my oldest daughter had gone to college.  My second one is ready to go next year.  I know this is my last school year to have her at home, and I know nothing will ever be the same.  My son will be an "only" child by the time school rolls around next year.   For all of the times that I wanted to scream because of the chaos and clutter in my home, I am now faced with the reality that the house is getting quieter with each passing day. 

My workbench is filled with the kids' childhood memories, waiting for me to start again filling their books.  I have sorted through the piles a few times, getting everything in chronological order.  It is hard, letting go of their childhoods.  Each time I peruse my stacks of memories I am stopped by the tears streaming down my cheeks. When I look at the pictures it takes me back to another place and time.  It wasn't always easy.  There were some tough times amidst the good times,  and there were times when I was bursting with pride for my kids and their accomplishments.   My most important job in the world was to be mom to these kids. These books are our lives together in words and pictures. 

I love the expression that author Anne Lamott uses:  "Bird by Bird."  I will tackle this project "Bird by Bird", one page at a time.  I will journey through infancy, preschool, grade school, middle school, and high school with my kids again. The only difference is that their faces will be looking at me and speaking to me from photos. 

I'll make sure I have the kleenex box handy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Here I Go Again

Once again I have dropped my blog writing for weeks on end.  It sounds better to say "weeks" when in reality it is actually almost two months since I have written.  What has been going on?

Not to make excuses, but here is a start of the list of things that have happened since I last wrote:

  • I have attended approximately 24 girls' high school softball games and 3 club softball games
  • I have attended eight 13 year old boys' baseball games
  • I have taken my annual anniversary trip to Steamboat Springs and fished for the second time all year
  • I have given up on my vegetable garden and left it to die
  • I have planted 150-200 tulips and daffodils with hopes of seeing them sprout in the spring

Not to mention, the usual: try to work enough to make a living, pay the bills, keep the house moderately clean, wash the clothes, feed the dogs, cats, snake, and family, try to make sure everyone gets to where they need to be on time with the right things on the right get the picture.  

I tell myself not to beat myself up over this.   I got de-railed again.  I write in my head all of the time, but I don't sit down long enough to put the words on paper. 

How do you write about life when life gets in the way of your writing?